The Cincinnati Reds (11-26) have won seven of its last ten games and have won or split the last three series. And the legend returns tonight. Joey Votto makes his return to a ball club on the upswing in his hometown of Toronto as the Reds head north of the border this weekend to face the Blue Jays (20-18).

The Blue Jays are two games over .500, but currently sit third in the AL East, eight games back of the scorching hot Yankees. Reds pitchers better be on their game this weekend because the Blue Jays can hit some home runs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer both have seven homers, tied for the team lead. Matt Chapman has six and Bo Bichette also has four. They’re tied for 11th in MLB with 39 home runs as a team, and their pitching hasn’t been terrible either, with a 3.67 team ERA, also good for 11th in the league.


  • Time: 7:07 PM ET
  • Location: Rogers Centre
  • Weather: It doesn’t matter–there’s a roof 😉
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio
  • Radio: 700 WLW


Cincinnati Reds

Toronto Blue Jays

2B Matt Reynolds DH George Springer
C Tyler Stephenson SS Bo Bichette
LF Tommy Pham 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
1B Joey Votto RF Teoscar Hernández
SS Kyle Farmer 2B Santiago Espinal
DH Mike Moustakas LF Raimel Tapia
3B Taylor Motter 3B Matt Chapman
RF Tyler Naquin C Danny Jansen
CF TJ Friedl CF Bradley Zimmer

Toronto hitters have never faced Castillo. Meanwhile, it looks like Votto returned just in time. He has a career .375 average with one home run in eight at-bats against Ryu. Mike Moustakas is the only other Reds hitter to face Ryu and has hit .333 against him in only three at-bats.

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo 9.2 5.59 4.53 5.57 4.17 1.14 17.9% 10.3%
Hyun Jin Ryu 12.0 9.00 4.65 5.76 4.00 1.50 15.1% 5.7%


Luis Castillo returned from the IL earlier this month, and although there’s been a couple of rough patches, he’s had some good moments. In each of his two starts thus far, Castillo has given up three runs, including one home run. The difference was in his first start against the Brewers, he walked three batters. Against the Pirates, he walked only one and while he struck out only two, he looked a lot more like the Castillo we’re all used to seeing. His changeup looked much better in his second start. The velocity was not as high as the previous two years, down to 95.4 mph from 97.3 on the fastball in 2021, but that could also be him still getting acclimated to pitching again after the injury.


Like Castillo, Ryu has recently returned from the IL. The Blue Jays put him on the IL in mid-April with forearm inflammation. Before the stint, he had struggled mightily, allowing 11 runs on 11 hits in 7.1 innings. Opponents were hitting .333/.371/.636 against him. He returned last Saturday to face the Rays in Tampa and gave up only one run on four hits in 4.2 innings.

Ryu has five pitches in his arsenal. He’ll mix his fastball, curve ball, change up and cutter relatively well, but has only thrown the slider about seven percent of the time in his career. He’s not a high velocity pitcher, with his fastball usually topping out at 90-91 mph and his off speed pitches in the mid-80s. His cutter is likely the surprise pitch for most hitters, as it has averaged only 72.9 mph in Ryu’s career.

News and Notes

The Reds start a new series this weekend and with it comes a flurry of roster moves. Redleg Nation has you covered if you’re confused as to who went on what list and who got called up.


Here’s the daily injury update for this injury-ladened team:

Finally, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer also had a story today about Reds attendance, in which he makes the comparison to the 2019 season, pre-pandemic. (It is for subscribers only, as a FYI).

So far it appears the Reds attendance has been slightly better this season than 2019 through two months. Here’s my opinion on that story:

And that concludes my Friday night sarcasm. In all seriousness, there is a large part of this city who remain die hard baseball fans and Reds fans, and those fans will go to games every year. I’m proud to say I’m apart of that group. Go Reds!

143 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Woo-hoo! TS moved up on the order.
    Miracle 🙂

    • MBS

      I was more happy to see that than even JV back in the lineup.

  2. Old-school

    Nice job Ashley.
    The Votto video of waxing nostalgic about beautiful Toronto springs and summers after enduring winters is a blue Jay marketers dream. Joey loves Toronto and would be worth his contract alone in marketing dollars to Toronto families- listening to him talk about going to Blue Jay’s games as a kid and watching some great teams.

    Blue Jays have #5 prospect in all of baseball who is in AAA and potential superstar catcher- Gabriel Moreno. Ricky Tiedeman checks in as a 19 yo high ceiling lefty pitcher as their #6 prospect.

    Votto and Castillo for Moreno and Tiedeman and lets fast forward this rebuild to 2023 and free up money to spend where it is needed

    Stephenson is back up catcher and new 1b.

    McClain 3b Barrero SS India 2b Stephenson 1b Moreno C

    Sign a big FA OF in 2023 and a SP and some bullpen depth and try for a wildcard and then go all in for 2024+ with the young arms in AA/high A maturing and De La Cruz and a big payroll to fill in the gaps in SP and RP and Hitting.

    • Kevin H

      According a friend of mine who knows the coach from when Votto was younger. Says Votto doesn’t want to play in Toronto.

    • Ashley Davis

      I don’t think Votto would ever accept a trade to Toronto. At this point, my opinion is that he’ll either accept a trade to a team almost guaranteed to win a World Series or stay a Red for the rest of his career (and I think this one is a lot more likely).

  3. JB

    Castillo needs to throw a gem because comparing lineups it looks like a blowout.

  4. LDS

    Not a Reds lineup that inspires confidence. JV in the #4 slot against a LH’er? Looks like the lineup was picked by drawing names from a hat. Oh well, what did I expect. Be back in 2-3 hours.

  5. VaRedsFan

    Aquino has burned most of his bridges here, but isn’t this the best spot to use him, vs. a lefty?

  6. Bet on Red

    Farmer got the memo that Berrero is getting a rehab start. Nice Double

  7. Roger Garrett

    We certainly are out gunned for sure but for the most pat we have been all season.Big boy teams healthy and we aren’t a big boy team even when we are healthy.Thats why we play the games but I would settle for a win in this series.

  8. Mark Moore

    Well, that bullet is dodged. And there isn’t any No-No monkey on his back either.

  9. Bet on Red

    Reds pull it through there. Get some runs people. Actually wanted to see Drury in the lineup….but…… (wrong answers only)

  10. Mark Moore

    This is one of those fancy football turf fields, isn’t it?

    • earmbrister

      Years ago, decades ago, three of us played hookey from a school trip to Toronto to see a NYY/Blue Jay game at Exhibition stadium. That place was a real gem …

      • Mark Moore

        I was in Toronto in 96 for our 10th anniversary celebration. Had some dessert in the Hard Rock right by the window looking down on them cleaning up after a game. Young Griffey had smacked one about that far earlier.

      • JB

        Took my son up there in 98 maybe to see the Yankees stars. Beautiful town.

      • earmbrister

        I believe it was 1978 for me. My HS had us all going to watch the film The Last Waltz. My buddies and I had other ideas. The stuff we got away with on that trip, and others, would never happen today. I feel sorry for my teenage kids.

        I’ve never seen the Sky Dome.

        And yes, I’ve been to Toronto a couple of times. It is indeed a beautiful, and clean, city.

  11. Roger Garrett

    Can’t wait to get back in the dugout.Seven pitch inning and we had a double.Guess the dude is throwing strikes.

  12. Old-school

    Luis Castillo is building his value. This is worth watching .

    • Mike Adams

      What a difference between Mahle and Castillo.
      Tonight Castillo has 27 strikes out of 35 pitches. It seems every pitch is setting up the hitter, even those that are not strikes.
      If Mahle could ever control his pitches he would be a good pitcher (I don’t think he is intentionally nibbling around the plate.)

  13. earmbrister

    Farmer is warming up nicely. The patented Joey start to a season.

  14. Roger Garrett

    Reynolds and Farmer hitting.Everybody else well is not.

  15. Bet on Red

    This game is moving along quickly isnt it

  16. Old-school

    The notion that Joey Votto can hit left handed pitching is a joke

    Hes not done it for years

    We can debate righties

    There is zero debate on lefties

    Joey votto should NEVER play against a left handed pitcher.

  17. JB

    Well there it is . Error on 3rd baseman who I believe is the lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

  18. Old-school

    What was that and who is 94 at 3b

    9 year old error

    Its fair to ask why lopez isnt playing 3b

  19. Old-school

    Its also fair to ask why brandon drury isnt playing 3b ?

      • Old-school

        That was a rhetorical question

        Sorry. Im aware why Drury chose to make himself ineligible

      • earmbrister

        A friend’s parents, who I know well, exercised their choice not to vaccinate and both ended up in the hospital. The husband almost died and may be on oxygen for the rest of his life. He was a bull, an elderly bull at that, but ripped in his 70s before the disease. Such a shame. We now resume our regularly scheduled programming … My apologies to anyone I have offended.

      • Mark Moore

        No problem, sir. It’s all good (aside from the guy at 3rd tonight).

      • earmbrister

        You are quite the gentleman. Who is THAT GUY at third? Perhaps you’ve rethought your Moose glove stance, LOL. Still laughing.

    • Bet on Red

      Cause Drury does not want to get his covid shot and is prohibited from entering canada

    • SOQ

      Didn’t get vaccinated apparently. Can’t go to Canada

  20. Mark Moore

    That was ugly. Not sure if Farmer gets it if it gets through.

  21. Mark Moore

    And another bullet (or hail of bullets) dodged

  22. Kevin H

    Let’s go Joey Votto. Future hall of famer will start hitting soon!! After all he is a career 300 hitter.

  23. SOQ

    This team needs Joey to get hot and get India back. THEN we’re going places!

  24. VaRedsFan

    4 doubles so far.
    All with 2 outs maybe?

  25. Scotly50

    Since the Covid “Vaccine” does not actually prevent infection nor transmission of the Virus, it baffles me why Toronto would require it when all it does is supposedly reduce symptoms.

    • Mark Moore

      First of all, it’s all of Canada, not just Toronto.

      Second, your assertions are not exactly correct. It can prevent infection. It definitely reduces the impact, rate of hospitalization, etc. That’s a lot more than “supposedly reduce symptoms.”

      And, for the record, I’m not a doctor nor an epidemiologist. I don’t play one on TV or the Internet. I do trust my own personal physician and follow her advice. She’s even told me to delay the 4th shot since Summer isn’t as likely to spike the transmission as the coming Fall and flu season.

      Off my soapbox.

    • MBS

      Most countries are doing something similar, but your right. People believed the vaccine made them immune to Covid, we’ve learned that assertion is not exactly correct. The main reason I got it was, I thought it would keep me from being able to spread it, unfortunately that’s not the case either. The vaccine does seem to help reduce the severity of Covid 19.

      • greenmtred

        Vaccines are rarely, if ever, 100% effective. But the successful ones–and the covid vaccine is one of these–reduce the risk of getting infected and, ipso facto, of transmitting the disease.

  26. Old-school

    Reds have Zero runs.

    Hard to win if your offense doesnt score

    • Mark Moore

      Right. Farmer can double all night long, but if that’s the sum of the offense, it won’t get the job done.

    • JB

      Like I said up top , Castillo is going to have to pitch a gem. This lineup is awful.

      • Mark Moore

        A very sad +250 because you are correct.

  27. Mark Moore

    Took a couple of bullets to the legs on that one …

  28. JB

    At some point in time Pham has to have better luck. Almost every game he hits it hard or gets robbed.

    • Votto4life

      Pham hasn’t had much luck for three years now.

  29. Mark Moore

    WOW!! He turned on that one in a hurry. And we rack up another 2-out double.

  30. Kevin H

    Votto with a double off a left handed pitcher. That’s what career 300 hitters do

  31. Mark Moore

    Thought Farmer had done it again … (heavy sigh)

  32. earmbrister

    Thought we’d do more vs Ryu. Surprising that the Reds have so little career ABs vs him as well.

  33. SOQ

    This team has shown some spunk in the later innings. Let’s hope they do tonight

    • Mark Moore

      We’re going to need it in spades. Starting right here in the 7th.

    • Daytonnati

      You know what Lou Grant would say 🙂

  34. Mark Moore

    And Tilapia fishes another one through on us.

  35. JB

    Teams are going to lefties us to death.

    • Votto4life

      Yes, it’s essential for the Reds get a RH hitting prospect with some pop for Castillo. Preferably an outfield. They can not afford to give Castillo away for a AAAA player and a lottery ticket.

      • Kevin H

        They have India and Senzel. Why trade your best starting pitcher. That makes no sense to me.

      • Votto4life

        Kevin, I am not advocating the Reds trade Louis Castillo, but if they do, as I think they will, they need to get something of real value in return.

        The Reds had India, Stephenson, not to mention Nick Castellanos, last year and they were miserable against left handed pitching. It probably cost them the WC spot.

  36. earmbrister

    Where would the Reds be without Farmer for the last few years? Particularly last year. A true diamond in the rough.

    Huge fan.

    • Old-school

      They would absolutely be in the exact same place

      Kyle farmer is bottom 5 SS in mlb

      • earmbrister

        The Reds didn’t have a better SS on their 40 man.


        This is a guy who plays wherever you put him, and plays it somewhat competently.

  37. Old-school

    Pham votto moose farmer OPS are bad hitting 3-6 .

    Look ‘em up. Its really poor

    TJ freidl is hitting .175 with an OPS in the 5’s

    This may be the worst line up since the Great Depression

  38. JB

    Free Bird with the base hit. Got a little something going here

  39. Bet on Red

    The quality start gets knocked on by alot but it gives a good gauge if it is the offense or the pitchers fault or credit to win a game. In this case a quality start is thrown, and the hitting has not been there.

    Motter finally validates his presence

    • SOQ

      4 straight QS’s I believe. Good to see

      • Mark Moore

        And they have all been 2 runs or less. That’s below the 3-run threshold and shows me some growth. The problem, like tonight, is when we can’t score to back it up.

  40. Indy Red Man

    Reds, Pirates, Baltimore, and Tigers combining for zero runs.

    MLB….feel the excitement

    • Indy Red Man

      I will say signing Billy Ray Cyrus for 3B tonight is kind of funny.

      • Votto4life

        Billy Ray used to play the clubs in my hometown when I was in college. He was always hitting on a friend of mine. Missed opportunity, she could have been Hannah Montana’s mom.

  41. MBS

    I don’t know why, but I’ve been picking up packs of Topps cards over the last couple of weeks. It took until my 5th pack to finally get a Red, and these are packs of 36 cards. Baseball cards are so expensive now a days. But I did get a unique Votto, and a unique Stephenson card, so that made me happy.

  42. Dennis Westrick

    Luis Castillo is the Sonny Gray of 2022! Pitches well enough for his team to win but the Reds score few if any runs for him!

    • Mark Moore

      Sadly, you may be right. I’m still thinking he gets traded a little further into the season.

  43. JB

    Not sure why he didn’t let Lopez hit. He is a switch hitter. Wasted 2 bench pieces.

  44. Bet on Red

    Where did this slugger Matt Renyolds come from

  45. Mark Moore

    OK, a bloop to score definitely helps. You take what you can get with a submarine pitcher.

    Go TySteve!!

  46. Mark Moore

    Wow … that was odd. Thrall saying because the catcher stood up, the ump called the ball.

  47. Old-school

    Reds have scored 1 run !!!

    You cant win in baseball at any level doing that


    Joey votto and moose and farmer are old men and not part of the solution to the worst team in baseball

    Fix it

  48. Bet on Red

    I love how the honesty just comes through Lecures voice. “he’s…better in may?”

    • Votto4life

      Sam Lecure won a place in my heart after he came in the first inning of game one in the 2012 NLCS, after Cueto was injured. He did an outstanding job in the game.

      • TR

        One of my best recent Reds memories by Sam Lecure. Reds up on Giants 2 games, need 1 more win and ….

  49. JB

    Bell took Matt Reynolds out of the game? Why?

  50. Mark Moore

    More bullets dodged. Really need a couple of runs here.

  51. Roger Garrett

    I do have hope when Senzel,India,Shrock and Barrero are ready our offense will be much much better.Reds starters have done pretty well over the last 12 games and if we had hit a little we could have had 2 or 3 more wins but like tonight we haven’t.

    • Mark Moore

      From what I read, Shrock is the furthest away of that group. Senzel is the closest. It will force some interesting decisions.

  52. JB

    Does Bell pinch hit for Motter? I’m not an AA fan but I’ll take him over Motter.

    • Mark Moore

      Agree. And the “who plays the infield” excuse doesn’t fly here. Reynolds could come back in to 2B.

  53. Votto4life

    Scary McGarry went 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs today for Dayton. He is now hitting .340 with an 1.184 OPS. Promote him to Chattanooga already.

  54. Votto4life

    Frustrating 16 games under .500. Where ya gonna go? Right now? To bed. Good night everyone.

  55. Kevin H

    Well the starting pitching is better. Bullpen hit or miss, I do think once Votto gets rolling and Senzel gets back they r better. Then India comes back soon, ( hopefully)

    • earmbrister

      Is India on the IL with a broken back? It seems like months since he was in the lineup.

      This team will get better and better as they get healthy.

      It’s an average team when healthy. It’s a poor team when they are playing their AAA players in MLB.

      Play the young’ins!!!

  56. LDS

    It’s much easier being a Reds fan from a distance rather than actually following the games. From the comments here and the box score, it appears Bell wasted Lopez, Votto managed a hit against a LH’er (did it get really cold down below?), Castillo had a decent game wasted by a lousy offense (Greene and Overton definitely feel his pain), and the Reds lost once again. The other thing I see here is the undying belief that Votto will start hitting again, he always does right? Maybe he doesn’t. After all, he hasn’t hit against LH’ers for several years. Maybe his hitting against RH’ers has caught up. Oh well, another day, another loss. There’s always tomorrow.